Pittsburgh's NPR News Station

Pages

The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Book News: Sci-Fi Writer Signs On As 'Chief Futurist' For Secretive Startup

In a blog post, Neal Stephenson says it's time that people develop a new medium, "one in which three-dimensionality is a reality and not just an illusion laboriously cooked up by your brain."
Madeleine Ball NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:01 pm

It seems we have a new case of life following art. Over two decades ago, in his seminal novel Snow Crash, science fiction author Neal Stephenson imagined a virtual world he called a "metaverse," a collective virtual reality that brought its users together in a single shared space. Now, Stephenson is trying his hand at helping sculpt another kind of alternate reality--this time not in print, but in life at large.

Read more
Goats and Soda
12:13 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Medical Workers In Conflict Zones Have Never Faced Greater Risks

Dr. Mohammed Arif helps treat a wounded patient at a field hospital in Kobani, Syria. Most of the clinics in this besieged Syrian border town are now in ruins. Only one still stands, its location kept secret lest it be targeted.
Jake Simkin AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:26 pm

Last month, American aid worker Peter Kassig was executed in Syria by the Islamic State militant group. The 26-year-old emergency medical technician had worked in hospitals, clinics and refugee camps throughout the region for more than two years. He was known for treating anyone who needed him, regardless of political affiliation. In a country like Syria, that kind of openness is both a statement of integrity and a huge personal risk.

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:06 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Behind The Scenes At The Lab That Fingerprints Microbiomes

Rob Knight, co-founder of the American Gut Project at the University of Colorado in Boulder, works in the lab where the samples are processed.
The American Gut Project

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:32 pm

The gut microbiome may soon reveal important answers to questions about our health. But those answers aren't yet easy to spot or quick to obtain.

Read more
The Salt
11:32 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Way Beyond Brownies: Vice Launches A Marijuana Cooking Show

Aurora Leveroni, 91, is also known as "Nonna Marijuana."
Vice

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 2:32 pm

On Sunday, my mother sent me an email: "OMG! Watch this unbelievable cooking show!"

It wasn't spam, and my mother, who's 65, does not use OMG lightly.

The fuss was over a 20-minute video about a 91-year-old grandmother who cooks Italian classics in marijuana-infused butter.

Read more
Parallels
11:19 am
Wed December 17, 2014

A Tweet On Women's Veils, Followed By Raging Debate In Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian women wear their traditional face covering, the niqab, at a coffee and chocolate exhibition in the capital Riyadh on Monday. A prominent religious figure said on Twitter that the face veil is not mandatory, sparking a heated national debate.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:48 pm

The man at the eye of the storm in Saudi Arabia is Ahmad Aziz Al Ghamdi. He's a religious scholar, the former head of the religious police in Mecca, a group officially known as the Committee for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:52 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Polls Show Cuban-American Views On U.S.-Cuba Relations Are Nuanced

Men play chess at the Maximo Gomez Domino park in Little Havana in Miami, where political opinions are shifting.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:07 pm

With news that the United States will work toward re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and easing the embargo, there is already talk about the reaction in the Cuban-American community.

In political terms, this is a major voting bloc in the hugely important swing state of Florida.

Read more
U.S.
10:51 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Cuba, U.S. Agree To Prisoner Release Including American Alan Gross

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:29 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
9:59 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Church Of England Names Its First Female Bishop

The Rev. Libby Lane will be consecrated on Jan. 26.
Nigel Roddis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:54 am

The Church of England has named its first female bishop.

The Rev. Libby Lane, who has been a parish priest for 20 years, will be consecrated on Jan. 26, becoming the first woman to hold that position since the church was founded five centuries ago.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:31 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Obama Unveils 'New Approach' On Cuba As Former Foes Chart New Course

President Obama announced Wednesday that the U.S. will work with Cuba to normalize diplomatic ties.
Doug Mills UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:41 pm

Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET

President Obama announced today the most significant change in U.S. policy toward Cuba in more than 50 years, paving the way for the normalization of relations and the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana.

Obama said "we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries."

Read more
The Two-Way
8:01 am
Wed December 17, 2014

In Pictures: After Horrific Attack, Pakistan Picks Up The Pieces

The uncle and cousin of injured student Mohammad Baqair (center) comfort him as he mourns the death of his mother, who was a teacher at the school that was attacked.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:15 pm

Pakistan is picking up the pieces today after an attack on a school by Taliban militants left 145 people dead.

It's a heart-wrenching story. We've collected the news in a different post. Here, we'll tell the story visually, but fair warning — the photographs are representative of the horrific attack, so they're tough to look at:

Read more
Europe
7:32 am
Wed December 17, 2014

AP Photographer Snaps Engagement Photo

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:29 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
Animals
7:32 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Stray Cat In Russia Feasts On Fish

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:29 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
7:20 am
Wed December 17, 2014

As Pakistan Mourns, Prime Minister Removes Moratorium On Death Penalty

Chairs are upturned and blood stains the floor at the Army Public School auditorium the day after Taliban gunmen stormed the school in Peshawar, Pakistan.
B.K. Bangash AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:27 am

A day after a horrific Taliban attack on a school that left 145 people dead, Pakistan began to take stock.

Read more
NPR Story
5:04 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Senate Adjourns, GOP To Take Over In January

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:29 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The 113th Congress has officially come to a close. The Senate adjourned late last night after passing a bill to extend tax breaks and confirming a slew of nominations. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports.

Read more
NPR Story
5:04 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Pakistan Observes 3 Days Of Mourning After School Attack

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 6:33 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
5:04 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Obama Expected To Impose New Sanctions On Russia

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:15 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
5:04 am
Wed December 17, 2014

DOJ Intervention May Help Conn. Police Regain Community's Trust

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:29 am

Copyright 2014 WSHU Public Radio Group. To see more, visit http://www.wshu.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:04 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Too Little, Too Late For Many New Yorkers Seeking Hospice

Sandra Lopez (left) and her dog, Coco, greet hospice nurse Heather Meyerend last fall. In the weeks before Lopez died, Meyerend stopped by weekly to check her physical health, pain levels and medications.
Amy Pearl WNYC

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:27 pm

Sandra Lopez and her Chihuahua, Coco, were inseparable. He followed her everywhere, and kept Lopez's mood up when she was in pain — which was often.

On Oct. 15, 2014, Lopez died at age 49 of melanoma that had slowly spread throughout her body over the course of two years.

Lopez was in and out of the hospital in 2014, but during the months she was home, a hospice nurse from the Metropolitan Jewish Health System visited once a week to help manage the pain, backed up by a 24-hour, nurse-staffed phone line that Lopez called often.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:45 am
Wed December 17, 2014

For Crop-Duster Pilots, Wind Towers Present Danger

A pilot for Earl's Flying Service sprays chemicals on a field in southeastern Missouri.
Courtesy of Mike Lee

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:29 am

Crop-dusting pilots are the adrenaline junkies of the agriculture world. They whiz through the air, flying under power lines to sow seeds or spread pesticides on farmers' fields.

It's a dangerous job, and now these pilots are facing a new challenge — short towers that can sprout up in fields overnight. These towers are used to gather data for wind energy companies.

Read more
NPR Ed
3:42 am
Wed December 17, 2014

An Alternative To Suspension And Expulsion: 'Circle Up!'

A restorative justice circle at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, Calif.
Sam Pasarow/Edna Brewer Middle School

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 9:27 am

One by one, in a room just off the gym floor at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, Calif., seventh-graders go on the interview hot seat.

Some 80 students have applied to be "peer leaders" in the school's new, alternative discipline program called "restorative justice."

Kyle McClerkins, the program's director, grills them on aspects of adolescent life: "What is the biggest challenge for middle school girls? What has changed about you from sixth grade to now?"

Read more
The Two-Way
1:45 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Senate OKs Judicial Nominees, Tax Extensions Before Republican Takeover

Senator Harry Reid of Nev. on Tuesday, walks to one of his final meetings as the Senate Majority Leader. In January, Republicans take over the majority.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:27 am

In what The Associated Press called a "final flurry of accomplishment" Tuesday night, lawmakers were able to push through a bill that extended a package of tax breaks, which had expired at the end of 2013, and confirmed 12 more judicial nominees. NPR's Ailsa Chang reported the confirmations also marked a big accomplishment for the Obama administration.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:28 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

'Clifford The Big Red Dog' Creator Bridwell Dies At 86

Author Norman Bridwell and his wife, Norma, pose for a portrait in 2011. The creator of the Clifford the Big Red Dog stories died Friday at age 86.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:26 pm

More than 50 years after he came up with a story about Clifford the Big Red Dog, artist and author Norman Bridwell has died. In 2012, Bridwell told NPR he had been shocked when his idea was accepted for publication.

A native of Indiana, Bridwell was 86. He died Friday on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, where he had long lived with his wife, Norma.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:23 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Cows Remain At Large After Breakout At Idaho Meat Plant

Cows were running free in Pocatello, Idaho, Tuesday, following in the hooves of a feisty heifer that escaped from a meat packing plant Friday. The pursuit of that cow made national headlines; five cows have now broken out of the plant in the past four days.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:23 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Bill Cosby Won't Be Charged Over 1974 Molestation Claim

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:22 pm

Citing the statute of limitations, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office says it won't pursue child sexual abuse charges against comedian Bill Cosby, who has been the subject of numerous allegations made by more than a dozen women.

Prosecutors "noted the statute of limitations at the time of the alleged incident was three years," The Los Angeles Times says.

Read more
Around the Nation
6:07 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

On Nebraska's Farmland, Keystone XL Pipeline Debate Is Personal

Susan and Bill Dunavan own 80 acres of land in York County.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:46 pm

Drive down gravel Road 22 in Nebraska's York County, past weathered farmhouses and corn cut to stubble in rich, black loam soil, and you'll find a small barn by the side of the road.

Built of native ponderosa pine, the barn is topped with solar panels. A windmill spins furiously out front.

Known as the Energy Barn, it's a symbol of renewable energy, standing smack on the proposed route of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline — a project of the energy giant TransCanada.

Read more
The Salt
5:28 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Japan's Beloved Christmas Cake Isn't About Christmas At All

A woman prepares a Japanese Christmas cake at the Patisserie Akira Cake shop on Dec. 23, 2011. The sponge cake is drenched in symbolic meaning.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 2:32 pm

Read more
The Salt
5:18 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

About This Series: The 12 Days Of Quirky Christmas Foods Around The Globe

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:52 pm

Wherever people celebrate Christmas around the world, they feast. It may be as simple as a bowl of porridge, but food rituals to mark the day as separate and special from all other days are practically universal. So often eating the food associated with this holy day helps families pause for a moment to remember who they are, and where they came from.

Read more
Business
5:07 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Shopping On Shore Leave: How Seafarers Head To The Mall

First Officer Dheeraj Singh spends most of his time at the helm of a container ship, but on a three-hour shore leave from the Port of Oakland, he visits Old Navy at Bay Street Mall in Emeryville, Calif.
Julie Caine KALW

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:46 pm

Many of us are making lots of trips to the mall right now, but what if you could only go shopping for just a few hours once a month? That's what life is like for container ship crews who bring the vast majority of consumer goods from Chinese factories to stores in the U.S.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:05 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Theater Cancels New York Premiere of 'The Interview'

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:43 am

Updated at 2:10am ET

A source close to Sony Pictures confirms to NPR that the New York premiere of The Interview scheduled for Thursday has been canceled by the theater that was to host the screening.

Read more

Pages